A retail landlord rep in Muncie IN has submitted the following call for input.  It’s easy to see this dilemma continuing to spread as more small businesses are impacted by government mandated shut downs and cautions being observed by consumers.  Many landlords and tenants will need to address methods to work together to get through this unprecedented challenge in our lives and businesses.  

“Well, it’s happening.  I manage several small retail centers in the Midwest and I’m already getting requests from tenants asking for rent “forgiveness”.  While I’m not unsympathetic to their circumstances, the mortgage payments and fixed expenses still go on for the landlord, so that is a problem if scheduled rents aren’t coming in.

My initial thoughts are that small businesses will likely have more ability to receive assistance than my landlords, and that it is still too early to set a precedent, since this is likely going to affect us all for the next several months, or more.

A few possible scenarios:
  • No late fees, extend the payment due date for the next 2-3 months 
  • Reduction in rent for the next 2-3 months, with the balance being tacked on to back end of lease
  • Sorry, no” 
Individual landlord and tenants will need to employ empathy and realism to identify methods for longer term success.  Let’s all be diligent as we strive to find workable solutions in this evolving situation.